Decluttering and organizing is an excellent opportunity to get rid of non-essential items, update those needing attention, and start afresh. It also presents a perfect time to evaluate your consumption and purchase habits to find ways of living sustainably. How you manage your home and live your life significantly affects your carbon footprint. Therefore, if an opportunity to declutter presents itself, you should leverage various eco-friendly options to protect the environment.
Why is a Conscious and Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Important?
Climate change and reducing natural resources have become major problems in recent years. Buying and using more household items significantly contributes to landfill waste, which increases carbon emissions. This is harmful to human life and the environment.
Several agencies have developed strategies that encourage individuals to make environmentally-conscious decisions. This mitigates environmental damage and ensures that humans live a brighter and more sustainable life. While there are several ways to reduce environmental impact, changing your activities at home has significant effects.
Creating a zero-waste life significantly reduces individual carbon footprint. As such, the benefits of conscious decluttering go beyond getting rid of household junk. Through this, you can make healthier, more efficient, and eco-friendly lifestyle choices.
Sustainable Ways to Declutter Your Home
While decluttering benefits your physical and mental health, decluttering sustainably is better for the environment and prepares you better for the move. The following are sustainable decluttering tips:
Before discarding any item in your home, consider repurposing it. Most people are quick to dispose of clothing and other things, which can be beneficial in several ways. For instance, old CD cases can be used to store cables, Kleenex boxes are excellent plastic bag holders, and empty toilet rolls can hold cluttered wires together. Fortunately, the internet is awash with endless ways of repurposing various household items.
Donating is an eco-friendly method of disposing of non-essential items that are in good condition. The adage “one man’s garbage is another’s treasure” surely holds. Just because you don’t need or use some items doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy having them. Old blankets, sheets, clothes, and other household items can benefit homeless shelters and needy families. You can also sell these items to thrift stores to make them accessible to individuals who can’t afford expensive items.
Recycling is another popular and environmentally-friendly method of decluttering. The best way to protect the environment is to ensure that appliances, electronics, and other items don’t contribute to landfill waste. Reducing landfill waste is a direct way of minimizing your carbon footprint.
You can leverage several recycling options available. The most common option is donating items in good condition to charities, listing them on websites dealing with second-hand items, or dropping them off at recycling centers. Choosing either of these options is better than dumping them in a garbage truck.
4. Digitize where possible
You can also take advantage of advancing technologies to minimize your carbon footprint. Computer technologies are beneficial in many ways, including enhancing responsible decluttering. Like most people, you might be dealing with a collection of official documents, old bank statements, paper records, photos, and ATM slips. These items can quickly accumulate without knowing.
Fortunately, you can declutter and organize your home better by digitizing these important documents and embracing cloud technologies. Digitizing ensures that you reduce paper waste that contributes to landfills. Documents and files that are no longer essential should be shredded and discarded.
5. Dealing with mattress waste
Surprisingly, more than 20 million mattresses are discarded to incinerators and landfills annually. Mattress donation isn’t a popular option as many people don’t prefer sleeping on pre-used mattresses. That said, recycling is the best way to deal with old mattresses. Though rarely found, mattress recycling centers can recycle up to 85% of mattresses. Use platforms like Earth911.com to find mattress recycling centers in your locality.
6. Adopt green cleaning methods
Bottles of shampoo, lotion, makeup products, and soap are packed and wrapped in individual boxes. This contributes to significant recyclable waste lying in your cabinets and cupboards. As you clean and declutter, you should find eco-friendly cleaning alternatives to minimize air pollution and release of toxic elements into the environment.
Start by replacing paper towels, which are America’s number one discarded item, with reusable clothing made from renewable and sustainable material with little environmental impact. You should also replace common spray cleaners with agents that don’t have harmful chemicals. You can purchase several products online or follow online tutorials to make them at home.
7. Upcycle items
Upcycling is another excellent option for recycling most household items. Instead of discarding items such as shovels, wheelbarrows, and old buckets, you can use them to decorate your garden. You can repaint containers, make a water feature, or plant flowers and herbs. There are endless upcycling ideas for household items available online.
The Bottom Line
Decluttering in an environmentally friendly way also includes making prudent choices. For instance, evaluate if you really need a product before purchasing a new item. You should also consider buying from second-hand stores to encourage the culture of recycling.